Posts Tagged ‘Renu Rathi’

The glittering glamour world of India is and has always been an aspiration for majority of the youth. People in India idolize film stars and worship them. The world of entertainment attracts thousands of people all over the year viz. models, middle class people, musicians, actors trying to get a break and become famous. People leave their homes and families glared by the attractive side of the industry. Drawn by the intoxicating and flashy allure, all these aspirants see themselves as Amitabh Bacchan, Shahrukh Khan and Aishwariya Rai!

But what we don’t understand is that just as there is a dark side to the moon, there is a dark side to this shining industry as well. It is full of ‘behind the curtain’ stories that are not shown on the screen, that do not make the headlines and that are taken off the records.

Multimillion-dollar bungalows and sleek black Porches & Ferraris serve both, as an inspiration and a frustrating reminder of how far away the dream still is. This frustration devastates the lives of the wannabes, in the end. People with ambitions come and in the process, get lost in the fast moving world. There are a lot of unforeseen circumstances which take place and project the bad side of the glamour world. But by the time people realize, it is too late.

It is not just glamour, glory and grandeur. Behind the scenes are the toil, challenges, hardships and rigors. It is a laborer’s job and one has to withstand mental, creative pressure. Respect comes after a lot of slog and those who cannot cope up, succumb badly. It is not as rosy as it looks unless one has a family hierarchy in the industry, a huge amount of cash or the backing of a rich businessperson willing to invest!


Victim: Raj Kiran

Immediately related to ‘Tum itna jo muskura rahe ho…’ and recalled as the one who played Rishi Kapoor’s ‘pre-incarnation’ in Subhash Ghai’s ‘Karz’, actor Raj Kiran had gone missing for almost a decade. Later, he was also assumed dead by his friends. However, some of his friends and co-actors refused to believe his death rumors and decided to launch a search for their missing friend.  The entire search process commenced with the Facebook campaign of Deepti Naval who had acted with the actor in the film ‘Hip Hip Hurray’. She posted on the social networking site, “Looking for a friend from the film world, his name is Raj Kiran – we have no news of him – last heard he was driving a cab in NY city, if anyone has any clue, please tell…” “All we need to know is that Raj Kiran is okay somewhere… would love to reach out to him… he is a good actor – remember ‘Tum itna jo muskura rahe ho – kya gham hai jisko chhupa rahe ho…’ she said.   Meanwhile, actor Rishi Kapoor took it upon himself to find out. During a recent trip to the US, he looked up to Raj’s elder brother, Govind Mehtani to get more information – and that is when the truth was established. Raj Kiran has been fending for himself, without any family support at a mental health home in Atlanta. Says Rishi, “I’ve been wondering where Raj had disappeared. The question was haunting me for a very long time. Then these rumors of Raj being no more began doing the rounds. I was really disturbed. How can a colleague with whom I shared some really good times just vanish from the face of earth? I decided to look up Raj’s elder brother Govind Mehtani to find out about Raj.” But the irony is that his brothers – Govind and Ajit – had deserted him in his time of need. They didn’t even have a contact number to pass on to Rishi Kapoor. The actor was abandoned by his son and wife long back. The incident resulted in erratic mood swings and an acute mental depression. He was institutionalized in India before he was shifted to the US. He looks after his own treatment by working within the institution. It’s a heart-rending situation for an actor who was so successful at one time. Raj Kiran has worked in films like BR Ishaara’s Kaagaz Ki Nao, Ghar Ho To Aisa with Anil Kapoor, Meenakshi Sheshadri and Deepti Naval and Kaaran apart from Subhash Ghai’s hit Karz and Mahesh Bhatt’s critically acclaimed Arth in the 1980s.

Victim: Parveen Babi   

Known for her glamorous long tresses, Parveen Babi was the sizzling glamour doll of the 70s and 80s. In her heydays, she romanced some of the best-looking men in the industry. Parveen never married but had relationships with many married men – director Mahesh Bhatt, actors Kabir Bedi and Danny Denzongpa. She was also strongly rumored to have had an affair with her co-star of many films, Amitabh Bachchan.   Parveen began her career with modeling and later shifted to the film industry. She was considered one of the most successful actors of her era. She starred in Deewar, Amar Akbar Anthony, Shaan, Namak Halal, Suhaag, Kala Patthar and others.   Like many other stars, she was also encircled in many controversies. She had accused many foreign dignitaries and her former co-star, Amitabh Bachchan, of conspiring to kill her, but her petition in court was dismissed for lack of evidence.   Parveen was too outspoken and openly talked about drugs; she even openly advocated her free love. However, she completely vanished from the industry in the mid-80s. She reportedly suffered from schizophrenia and sought mental solace through alternative contemporary spirituality. Parveen had then shifted to New York and when she returned, she was unrecognizable as her former self after having put on a considerable amount of weight.    Parveen had withdrew herself from the public due to her mental instability. She was found dead in her Mumbai apartment on January 22, 2005 after her residential society secretary complained to the police that she had not collected milk and newspapers from her doorstep for the past two days. The whole industry went gaga with her on-screen presence. But she died a lonely, controversial and forgotten death.

Victims: Geetanjali Nagpal, Renu Rathi 

The journey from ramp to road is very frequent when it comes to modeling. The story of Geetanjali Nagpal, a designer turned model, is hard to believe. She was one of the top models appearing in the best of advertisements with brands like Lakme. Geetanjali once walked over ramp with Miss Universe 1994, Sushmita Sen in the 90s and others of same class.    The model is believed to have been a victim of drug abuse and alcohol addiction. She was rescued from the pavements in the national capital by a team from Delhi Commission for Women. They found her living off the streets, spending her nights in parks and temples and working as a maid. She also spent her nights with men for money to quell her craving for drugs.   After she was rescued from begging at a posh market in Delhi, she was admitted to VIMHANS Hospital, where doctors diagnosed her as suffering from fear psychosis. Similar is the story of the model Renu Rathi. She was found on the streets outside her rented flat in Bandra, Mumbai. She was allegedly lying there for two days without food or water after her landlord allegedly ‘threw her out’. Not being able to get success under big banners, Renu had turned to drugs.


Everyone, be it you or me, desires instant acquisition of money and fame. But it doesn’t take long before these ambitions get lost in the big, bad world, where there is ruthless competition in every step of ascent to the top. Unpredictability of personal relationships, lack of privacy, high depression levels and ever-increasing ego problems with the competitors also pop up with time. For some, the pressure is too much to bear, which pushes them towards dark paths of drugs, alcohol and crime.   It is worth pursuing as a career only if one is well aware of the pros and cons and is willing to cope with the failures. And remember, not all that glitters is gold!

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